With the help of some hard-hatted men and a large crane, the 2011 Christmas tree is now up in St. Peter’s Square! Although the 30 meter tree was raised on Tuesday, it will remain dark until it is officially inaugurated on Friday, December 16th. The 30 meter tall (or 98 foot, depending on your measuring unit of choice) tree comes to Vatican City by way of Ukraine, marking the first time in the 30 year history of papal Christmas trees that it comes from a formerly Soviet state. The lighting next Friday evening will be attended by Ukrainian bishops representing the home of the pine tree of honor. For the remainder of the holiday season, the tree will make its home in the center of the piazza next to, and unfortunately, dwarfed by, the obelisk – and a nativity scene, which will be unveiled on Christmas Eve.
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